Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

Marvin, Brian James, and Michael stuffing their faces with popcorn while watching Eragon.

Last night I had the enjoyable task of trying to explain the tradition of dying eggs and then finding them "from the Easter Bunny" to a 15 year old Honduran boy.  I'm sure Marvin is now convinced that we are entirely crazy.  I was able to find a PAAS coloring kit in the store and showed it to him, but he just laughed and shook his head.  And when you think about it, it really is kind of crazy.  Celebrating the resurrection of Christ by coloring eggs, pretending that a giant rabbit hides them in the yard early on Easter morning, and then sending the kids out with baskets to find them all. 

I did a little poking around on the internet and found an interesing entry on The Huffington Post.  This guy is a pretty big blogger but more often than not, because of his anti-Christian bias, I find hs writing more of an irritation than anything else.  However, he did come up with some good stuff regarding the history behind the Easter Bunny.

He writes:  Why does the Easter bunny distribute eggs? It turns out the egg-toting Easter bunny evolves from a mythic German goddess named Ostara, (Oestre / Eastre) who was the Germanic Goddess of Springtime. According to the Encycolopedia Mythica:

"In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived."

All other European words for "Easter" derive from the Hebrew word "pasah," to pass over, thus reflecting the Christian holiday's Biblical connection with the Jewish Passover. According to Ostara was very popular with the Anglo-Saxon people, who worshiped her under the name Eostre.

Yet there is something odd about how little there is written about Eostre/Ostara; the myth only resides in one area, and is recorded to exist for a fairly short period of time. Most Sumerian, Greek and Egyptian figures, including Isis, Kali, and Demeter, were widely worshiped for thousands of years, and many of the stories had moral components or attributes to emulate. What's the moral element of the Easter bunny? Something about it just doesn't fit with other myths.

Was it all a joke?

Recent research suggests that the Ostara myth was potentially invented during a mischievous moment by the Venerable Bede. This well-known monk mentioned her in connection with the pagan festival Eosturmonath in a book written in 750 A.D. -- but extensive research has failed to find a trace of her prior to that. Talk about the "stickiness factor" of Malcom Gladwell's book The Tipping Point. Imagine: a famous monk makes up a weird story about a goddess who never existed - who turns a bird into a rabbit that lays colored eggs -- and it morphs into a mega-watt holiday celebrated the modern world over.

Wow. Bet that gets your bonnet in a tizzy. Imagine the irony in making up a goddess myth, which becomes linked with the "greatest story ever told," and simultaneously serves as a mecca of commerce for Hershey's, hat makers and basket weavers. For those who are devoted Christians: does this affect the power of His word and His teachings? No, but come on, it is a pretty darn good story.

Now if any of you have a clue how I can relay all of that to Marvin, please fill me in!  I think I'll just let him continue to believe American's are crazy and we'll just focus on the real reason we celebrate tomorrow...Christ's victory on the cross that allows each one of us to have that same victory over sin and death if we will ask and receive it from Him.

On a completely different note, I wanted to share a couple of things I have come up with here while spending most of my life in the kitchen.  Back home one of our favorite portable breakfasts was the homemade Egg McMuffin - thank you McDonald's for that wonderful invention!  English muffins are a little difficult to find here so I came up with a variation that we can take in the car with us on those early morning drives into town:  an omelet in a tortilla.  Mix one egg with a little milk and fry it on medium/low heat it in a small pan, covered, until cooked through.  Then put two slices of ham deli meat and one slice of American cheese on one half of the omelet.  Fold the other half over he top, let cook covered just long enough to melt the cheese.  Place it on 1/2 of a heated flour tortilla, fold the other half of the tortilla over the top.  Put it in a napkin and go!

The other thing I came up with was prayer boxes.  There are many times I sit in the kitching waiting for something to cook or bake just a couple more minutes.  So I wrote the names of everyone I could think of on pieces of cardboad (like from a cereal box) and placed them into one of the boxes.  When I have a few minutes I reach into the box on the left and pull out a name and pray for that person, then put the name into the box on the right.  When the box on the left is empty, I'll reverse the process.  It's kind of interesting and fun to see who you get to pray for!

May God richly bless each and everyone of you this Easter. 

The Wiggs


Faith said...

Praying for your family to have a Blessed Easter! The Schneider's

Megan Scheumann said...


I love the prayer box idea! I am going to make one for myself. Also, regarding the Egg McMuffins, I have a recipe for making my own english muffins. It does take awhile, but they turn out pretty good. I have made them a few times here.


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